Company:Voyagi Inc., a Minneapolis-based
provider of media and information services to the interactive kiosk
2000 sales: $1 million
2001 projections: $2.5 million
There are a ton of hectic things to take care of during graduation: gown rental, parties, lazing about...starting a business? That's what Larson was doing during his high school graduation. "Literally, I graduated from high school on a Thursday and started [Voyagi] on a Friday," he says.
Being an entrepreneur is never easy-but being a young entrepreneur? "A lot of people don't take you seriously," says Larson. "Their natural tendency is to think you don't know anything." He knew enough to get into this booming industry back in 1994-where kiosks are now everything from informational tools to communication devices. Kiosks that provide Internet access in public places are the next wave on the horizon, and Larson says he's ready to serve that new business sector. His Kiosk Magazine, published since 1999, is just one of the ways he keeps the kiosk constituency appraised of news.
Since entrepreneurship is in his blood-his mom owned a company for 30 years-Larson feels compelled to make each one of his nine employees feel like entrepreneurs themselves. "Everyone takes an entrepreneurial [attitude toward] the company," he says. And with sales set to hit $2.5 million this year, who wouldn't want a piece of that pie? -Nichole L. Torres